Our daughter called Pam and me to tell us our ten-year-old granddaughter, Teal, was singing the National Anthem at her school’s “Talent Show” (several hundred people expected in attendance). Our emotions were not only “wow”, but also “what?!” No one, including her parents and siblings, knew that she wanted to sing…not one lesson. So, our “wow” turned into emotions of “I hope she doesn’t embarrass herself.” Earlier in Teal’s life, her parents had enrolled her on a soccer team and a cheerleading squad. She would get dressed, go to the game, and then refuse to participate in either of those out of fear. So, when Teal’s time to perform came up, my daughter and I were able to move to the front so that we had a stage view of her. Teal, a petite, cute, piggy tailed girl (absolutely no bias from her grandad!) moved to the microphone which had to be adjusted for her height. My daughter was so nervous she was shaking. Then, all of the sudden, this absolutely adorable kid belted out the National Anthem, obviously talented, to our exhilaration. Was it a perfect rendition?! No, she was out of tune several times but man, she let it go. We were all stunned and clapped our hands and whistled until we were exhausted. Saying that we were thrilled for her was an understatement.
Observing the courage of Teal humbled me. There have been a number of opportunities in my life that I pulled back from not wanting to be humiliated. Fear dictated my actions keeping me from doing things that God wanted me to do. There was one passage in scripture that I hated to read (Revelation 21:7&8). In verse 7, the Apostle John talked about how God was so pleased with “overcomers” who were courageous. Then, in verse 8 he listed folks who big time frustrated Him, “the cowardly, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and sexually immoral persons, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars.” The cowardly who were unwilling to take a stand for the Gospel were lumped in with others who are considered despicable. God cannot stand cowardice.
One of Paul’s close disciples was Timothy, whose grandmother and mother were strong believers. The Bible says little about his father. Timothy was a young leader who had a tendency to cower back. Out of their relationship, Paul gave us a powerful verse in 2 Timothy 1:7, “God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but love, power and a sound mind.” Like Teal, He does not want us to shrink back but belt it out by showing His love to others courageously and speaking mercifully, gracefully, boldly, and soundly uplifting His name.
In a challenging environment when others had shrunk back, God told Joshua, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified nor dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). The neat thing is while you are walking in obedience, God is with you every step you take enabling to you “be strong and courageous…wherever you go.” What a thrill it is when you walk in His Spirit
Allow God to expand your experience and lifestyle living a courageous life. Your relationship with everyone around you will change.
Teal, thank you for reminding the rest of us including your “Bub” to be “bold” not fearful.